On May 8, Texas Republican Gov. signed legislation that permits police officers to ask about immigration status during stop and punishes law enforcement officials who fail to cooperate with federal immigration agents. The Left is obviously opposed to this legislation. And yes, it’s drawn protesters out of the woodwork. On the last day of the legislative session, protesters descended into Austin, making their presence known in the capitol. On the House floor, Democratic and Republican state representatives almost had a full-blown brawl after one called Immigration and Customs Enforcement on the protesters (via Texas Tribune):
The normally ceremonial last day of the legislative session briefly descended into chaos on Monday, as proceedings in the House were disrupted by large protests and at least one Republican lawmaker called immigration authorities on the protesters.
State Rep. Matt Rinaldi, R-Irving, said he called U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement while hundreds of people dressed in red T-shirts unfurled banners and chanted in opposition to the state’s new sanctuary cities law. His action enraged Hispanic legislators nearby, leading to a tussle in which each side accused the other of threats and violence.
Hispanic Democratic lawmakers involved in the altercation said it wasn’t physical but indicated that Rinaldi got into people’s faces and cursed repeatedly. Video shot from the House floor shows both Republicans and Democrats pushing each other.
“He came up to us and said, ‘I’m glad I just called ICE to have all these people deported,’” said state Rep. César Blanco, D-El Paso, whose account was echoed by state Reps. Armando Walle, D-Houston, and Ramon Romero, D-Fort Worth.
There’s no excuse for members making insensitive and disparaging remarks on the floor of the Texas House,” Speaker Joe Straus said in a statement.
DPS quickly rushed in to break up the protest. They grabbed the banners from the protesters and pulled some of the people holding them out of the room. Eventually, they decided to clear the gallery of the protesters.
The ordeal became so loud that the House had to take a break from its proceedings for about 20 minutes. A handful of Democratic lawmakers looked up to the gallery and clapped. That’s when the altercation between the lawmakers on the floor started, according to the House Democrats.